2013 ISLAND CLASSIC
I hold this to be the premier motorcycling event in Australia. Yes, even above the MotoGP.
It is replete with glorious racing bikes, great racing, incredible racers, good weather (for Phillip Island), and easy access to every part of the track without it costing you a million dollars.
I went to the 2013 event and it will not be my last such outing. I had a ball. I got to hang out with my son, I was honoured to meet Giacomo Agostini, I watched my mate Spooky ride to racing glory, I drooled over a range of bikes that made me do sex-wee in my pants, I beheld the great Top-Box Build-Off at the Mayoral Residence and Casino Complex, and then I won some money off him at poker on Sunday night.
Here is my weekend in picture form…
The inimitable, hospitable and revered Mayor of Awesome Town himself, Island Mick.
Res, the War-Ranga of Love and Help comforts a frightened Ross. Ross is easily frightened by all sorts of things. What set him off this time was the Top-Box Build-Off.
Ross: “Is that Borrie’s son?”
Res: “No. He’s just some random kid that wandered in off the street because he smelled the beer.”
Son (thinking): Dad has a shitload of weird mates. None of whom will give me a beer. Shit.
Outside, the Mayoral Rocketship was fitted with the first top-box.
Ross’s excitement mounts to a fever pitch upon discovering that the top-box will easily carry blue plastic cups.
Indeed. It carries a great deal more than just plastic cups. Is this the ultimate in gentlemanly touring accessories? I think so. I have yet to see better.
Not to be outdone, Ross immediately begins modifying his Gixxer for Grand Touring. Andrew wonders just how weird Dad’s mates are gonna get.
But with the addition of a fridge-ready tankbag, the Mayor removes all doubt about just who the fuck is who when it comes to prepping a bike for touring. Bravo, sir. Well played!
And so to the track…
This is where we found Spooky. He was mentally preparing for Total Theatre Domination. And was clearly not to be fucked with. We moved on.
No-one is gonna meet any nice people on this Honda. Only very fast bastards who hate you.
The Mick Hone Suzuki was mighty
I found a bike with a bottle and what looked like a rocket booster coming out of its arse. I barred up and moved in for a closer look.
OK. Not a jet. A propeller. Almost as awesome.
“Where’s the rider? I have prepped and polished this to an inch of its life, and now there is no rider.
“I’ll ride it.”
“Go and get changed.”
“You will fit, bastard widget. Of that I have no doubt.”
“I have eaten my fill of oxen and bisons and antelopes. Now it is time to race!”
Meanwhile, Spooky surveys the battleground.
Upon his return after qualifying, he was five seconds faster than his best ever time on the PI track. Five. Fucken. Seconds.
And then he won. Like a Boss!
And speaking of Bosses. They don’t get any Bossier than Phillis and Campbell.
This sucks. Hard. No, really.
No, this is not the new Indian. This is a slightly older one.
I think this could be the new model.
This was the American racing team. Bright, happy, articulate and fucken faster than shit off a shovel on the track.
In other garages, serious operations were taking place…
The garage of the Yellow Peril.
And a more traditional one just outside.
Nothing at all traditional about this monster
Still one of the most aesthetically gorgeous bikes ever built.
The green was strong in this one.
The thundering of the English racing gods was much in evidence
One cylinder, one purpose.
Up in the tower, the dulcet tones of Mark Bracks and Phil Harlem serenaded us all weekend. The blokes do a top job.
That night, at a glittering sit-down dinner, I got to meet some racers.
Some serious racers indeed.
And the greatest racer of them all.
Il Maestro. Yes, the bitches still fizz.
“There is only racing. There is nothing else.”
The next morning, we were back at the track and celebrating Spooky’s double-race win.
Rangas burning together.
Well, it was Australia Day.
But that was really no excuse for painting your shitbox up like a cop-bike. Seriously, get a life.
The only shade anywhere near the racetrack. Note the giant burning ranga, second from the right. He is roasting like a ham.
And it was great to catch up with some old mates. All of whom looked older than me. Which was cool.